• Arrive Ready.

    COL Wanovich, Commandant of Cadets

High School Preparation

It is an exciting adventure that uses an adversarial system and military environment to prepare cadets for life.  In particular, the Rat Line poses challenges that are physical and sometimes stressful.

The unique program elements at VMI are something every prospective cadet should know and understand.  VMI wants all new cadets to succeed, and to do so they must be physically and mentally prepared.

Don’t do ordinary

VMI provides a unique education that imposes significant challenges.

HS Curriculum Recommendations

English:  4 units
Algebra:  2 units
Geometry:  1 unit
Advanced Math:  1 unit
Social Studies:  3 units
Lab Science:  3 units
Language:  3 years of 1 or 2 years of 2
Electives:  2 units

TOTAL:  19 -20

Applicants need 16 academic units that must include four English, two algebra, and one geometry (a second language is recommended, but not required). This distribution is desirable but not required.

Who is VMI looking for?

Top Half of Their Class
Athletic Team Participation
Team Captain
National Honor Society
Club Officer
Student Government
Eagle Scout
Gold Award

Physical Conditioning Standards & Requirements

VMI Standards

The physical demands at VMI require our students to be healthy. New cadets who report to VMI overweight or in poor physical conditioning will struggle to meet those demands during their rat year and may therefore leave VMI. The physical fitness standards for admission are high because we want all cadets who matriculate to succeed.

VMI’s weight and body fat standards are outlined in General Order 49, VMI Height/Weight and Body Fat Assessment Program. Applicants’ weight may be considered in the initial admissions process. Once applicants receive initial appointment, those who are determined during the medical evaluation process  to be overweight or above the body fat limit will be asked to provide evidence of their level of conditioning.

Prospective cadets should review these requirements and ensure they are in compliance. The weight standards will also be reviewed during the medical evaluation process for students who have been conditionally appointed. Applicants who are not in compliance may be denied entry to VMI.

VMI Fitness Test

Fitness at VMI is further measured by the VMI Fitness Test (VFT), which is administered twice each semester. The VFT consists of  a 1.5 mile run, sit-ups, and pull-ups. A cadet’s performance on this test is scored. Those who cannot pass the VFT are placed in remedial physical training and, as applicable, referred for dietary counseling.

Information about the VFT can be obtained by reviewing General Order 31, VMI Fitness Testing Program. This test is not part of the admissions process.

In order to assist students who are preparing to enter VMI, the Department of Physical Education has prepared a sample work-out plan and instructional video on how to correctly perform some portions of the VFT.

ROTC Branch Requirements

VMI cadets are also expected to meet ROTC-specific requirements. Each service conducts two or more service-specific fitness tests each year.  Additionally, the services and ROTC departments have service-specific height/weight and body fat standards.

For cadets pursuing a commission, being able to meet these requirements and pass the service-specific fitness test is critical. Cadets who are on ROTC scholarship risk losing their scholarships if they do not meet fitness and weight standards.